I don’t like basements (or cellars as they’re sometimes called). They’re dark, dank places where bad things happen sometimes. They hold secrets…sometimes for endless years. Our basement in the house we used to live in, housed my father’s darkroom for his photography and he very often used to ask me to accompany him there. He only developed black and white photos then and admittedly i was fascinated by the magical process that turned these negative strips of film into black and white photographs before my very eyes! The problem was, when he took the opportunity to abuse me, knowing no-one would catch him. In addition, the piano teacher i used to have to visit in the evenings, who abused me in a dark room in the basement too. So, i grew up being terrified of basements.
Meanwhile, life resumed as normal with everyone else upstairs chatting and drinking tea. But not me…I was trapped.
The reason why i mention basements is actually linked to my inside people. I’ve spoken of them many times and recently in connection with Baby Emily who was gone from us for so long…six long years and we’d thought, for certain, she had died, and mourned her loss..
In the last couple of days, i’ve told of our reunion with Emily which was joyous. However, she had spent those six long years down in my Father’s basement, lying on the cold stone floor with nothing but a nappy on. She was dormant, not dead (as my therapist explained). What was happening to us was so awful that she, at six months had ‘gone into hibernation’ for want of a better expression. And then this week, when she returned from that awful place, she was cold, only dressed in a nappy, and terrified. But she was a gift to us. Chloe picked her up and gave the biggest hug.
Today was exciting as we went to the shops and bought her a clean white babygrow, pink, lacy socks, a small pink gingham-lined wicker crib for her to rest and sleep in, a small and soft pink blanket, a jar of baby food, a box of Farley’s Rusks. a teddy and some toys.
We all (except for Gut, who refused) wrote in a pretty card the words ‘WELCOME HOME EMILY JANE’.
So, we should be happy, yes? But despite all the good, we always have this feeling that anything good is going to be followed by something bad. We live in trepidation of the next act of violence, abuse or neglect. Why cant we have some happiness and peace of mind for once? Why does life have to be such a constant battle? Why do evil men do nasty things to little children? Will Emily going into hiding again because now, Gut is the bully. But we watch him like a hawk, us older girls, not trusting him not to hurt Emily.
Why can’t life be a ‘bed of roses‘ for once? Why does our delight in something so good, then turn into something bad. Why did our Mum shout and yell at us so much this evening when we told her about Emily Jane coming home and all the nice things we bought her? Why did she have to ruin our joy? Why can’t the world be a safe place to be born into? Instead it is a lair of nightmares, horrors, pain, suffering and loss, not a bloody bed of roses!
Why are we so angry? Why are we so pissed off? Why do we have to sabotage anything good that comes into our lives? Why are we denied any contentedness? WHY, the fuck, don’t we quit being mad and bugger off up to bed? Why are we losing the plot? Why are we losing the will to live? W…H…Y?